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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:52 pm
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Location: Woking, Surrey
I have always beeen puzzled as to why the LNWR chose to invest in widening to four tracks along the North Wales Coast (seasonal traffic, and mostly passenger), rather than the line North of Crewe (later done by the LMS).

At the recent Kidderminster meeting Owen Gibbon gave me the plausible explanaton that the work was at the behest of (and largely paid for) by the military who desired to move troops to Ireland as rapidly as possible in case of (expected) insurrection.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:35 am 
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Location: Deep in the Dordogne, Commune of Loubejac
Interesting speculation, but although it is a little before my time working in Defence I'm somewhat dubious, particularly over the 'largely paid for' bit. The War Office between the Crimean and Boer Wars was largely preoccupied with digesting the Cardwell and Childers reforms, then taken up with internal feuding between the Infantry/Cavalry and other arms (a picture I do recognise!). But the common factor in what little strategic planning was done over this period was a severe lack of funds to undertake anything substantive - hence the abandonment of overseas garrisons to create an expeditionary force. Also, the importance of internal security as a task for the Army had declined significantly from the days of the Chartists, although the case in Ireland was obviously a little different. I confess I'm ignorant of the time of the widening, but can it be tied to any specific raising of the threat of Irish insurrection? I can't immediately recall a specific crisis between the Phoenix Park murders and the Easter Uprising (1882 - 1916, which I assume covers the period when the lines were upgraded) but I'm sure there were some - and the perspective of the time may have given greater significance to events that do not seem so important now.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:52 pm 
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Off the top of my head, I think most of it was done c1909-13? I'll check later.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:58 pm 
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Some of the Chester - Connah's Quay section may have been a few years earlier


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